morningbuzz

Civil War Records, Rocket Launches, Trump Administration, More: Monday Buzz, April 3, 2017

Fold3 is offering free access to its Civil War records collection through April 15. “In remembrance of the commencement of the Civil War in April 1861, and to commemorate Confederate History Month, Fold3 is offering free access to our Civil War Collection from April 1st–15th.”

NEW RESOURCES

New to me: a Web site tracking upcoming rocket launches. It’s a sheet with a list of upcoming launches, several filter/search options, and external links to mission pages. As you might imagine this page is crammed with data, but going through it’s not too bad.

Nieman Lab: When the primary source is Trump himself: Factba.se compiles all Trump, on all platforms, at all times. “This easily searchable trove covers virtually every single communication that comes from Donald Trump himself across multiple social platforms, as well as from from the White House.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

IFTTT has added a couple new Apple services. “Services that work with your smartphone or tablet have been an important part of IFTTT since the very beginning. Today we’re excited to announce two brand new ways to do more with your iOS devices: the iOS Calendar and App Store services.”

Web monitoring site Mention is adding radio and TV to its monitoring service. I use the free version of Mention, and it’s not bad, actually kind of useful even for a free service.

Weather Underground is killing off its blogs. “As you know, over the years Weather Underground has provided a wide variety of weather-related services and features across our web and mobile properties. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you in this capacity. As we continue to innovate and focus on our core forecasting capabilities, we are no longer able to properly support certain products and features.” Wunderground is also getting rid of SMS alerts and WUMail.

USEFUL STUFF

From Hongkiat, for my Opera peeps: 14 Opera Flags Tweaks for Better Browsing Experience. “Similar to other browsers, Opera also comes with experimental features that can enhance your browsing experience. Whether you are looking to speed up browsing, enhance security or just want to tweak the user interface, you should be able to find an Opera flag that can help with it.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

If you’re into that sort of thing, Mashable has a roundup of Google’s April Fool pranks for the year.

Fast Company Design: Inside Twitter’s Obsessive Quest To Ditch The Egg. “Once upon a time, the designers responsible for Twitter’s look and feel reveled in the service’s association with birds. For instance, they not only stuck their winged mascot–known at the time as ‘Larry the Bird’–into the interface itself, but gave him a field of clouds along the top edge to soar through. And when they unveiled a major redesign in 2010, they provided every new user with a default profile picture that depicted fresh beginnings in a decidedly Twitter-esque way: as an egg.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

WWD: The Federal Trade Commission to Scrutinize Media Companies. “Sponsored content: It has become the lifeblood of media companies looking to bolster anemic print and digital revenue streams. But just as bloggers came under federal government regulations to ensure that consumers knew when these e-correspondents were being paid to write about a brand or product, now WWD has learned that the concept of sponsored content has caught the attention of the Federal Trade Commission.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Harvard Business Review: Using Blockchain to Keep Public Data Public. “Data is under attack. And it is the leaders of our government and economy who are waging this war. They have made it acceptable to manipulate raw data in a way that benefits them financially or politically — and it has lowered public confidence in the veracity of information. These are institutions we rely on every day to make the policy and business decisions that affect our economy and society at large. If anyone is allowed to simply change a number or delete a data set, who — and what — are citizens supposed to believe? How can we get our data back? The answer lies with the public — public blockchains, to be specific.”

Mashable: In defense of Snapchat, a manifesto. “Yeah—I’m a business and tech reporter, who reports on social media networks. And in order to do the job correctly, it’s on me to maintain a degree of objective remove. That said: I’m not a reporting robot without ideas, preferences, or a life beyond my gig. And while part of that job also involves spending time on social networks, like all of you, (A) I still do it for fun, and (B) If you looked at my phone, it’d be pretty obvious what my favorite social networks are, and how I spend my time using them.” Good morning, Internet…

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